October 5, 2017

Are You Addicted to Digital Crack??

Unplugging may be easy for some of you, but for me, it’s one of my biggest challenges. I’ve become addicted! I’m always on my iPhone, MacBook, Evernote, Twitter, Slack, Google Calendars, Gmail, Go-to-Meeting, and of course, my BlueIQ dashboard. This is our culture. This is the life of the 21st century. Social media, business intelligence tools, electronic devices, apps, the internet—it’s all “digital crack.”

But how much is too much? Honestly.

This is a question my wife and I are always discussing when it comes to our kids as well as ourselves. Yes, we have systems in place to minimize the hold technology has on our lives (no cell phones at dinner, only an hour of gaming on weekdays, etc.). But at the end of the day, it’s difficult for children and adults alike to disconnect from technology and connect to life. . .

But just how healthy is this “digital crack” on our immune, adrenal, and autonomic systems?

How healthy is it that we’re creating generations that interact and communicate via text and Xbox Live more than they do face-to-face?

It’s time to reconnect to life.

Although I don’t come up to our cabin nearly enough, when I do, early mornings are by far my favorite time of the day. It’s tranquil. I find serenity in the complete silence, surrounded with a 360-degree view of God’s beauty, at an incredible 9,500 feet up in the high Uinta Mountains of Utah. Of course, with the most aromatic, deep, dark roasted cup of joe in hand.

It’s my time to just be.

When the kiddos finally wake, they usually find me sitting on the porch. There, I’m reflecting on my years of being on this rock, visualizing all that’s going on, mapping out the next 90 days from all angles. Staring out into the meadow below, my mind is free from the day-to-day chatter and finally, connected to life.

Sadly, it all ends with a few reception bars. #DigitalCrack

When you think of technological advances, you think of our world becoming conveniently simpler, but the effect has in many ways simultaneously disconnected us.

I’ve been a consumer of technology since the moment I could purchase it. Thankfully, I barely missed the brick cell phone days, but when I got my hands on that now old school Motorola flip phone, it was a social sign of “making it” in my adolescent mind.

Then came the creation of the internet, connecting the world in a mind-blowing capacity. We were forever changed, but how ironic that connecting the world ultimately disconnected the people?

Technology has become a double-edged sword. We need balance.

If you’re reading this, then you are doubtlessly a gadget-heavy, techy person, who has fully embraced the upside case for technology. But I’m willing to bet you sometimes rue the encroachment it’s had on your life. We all have. Technology has a way of taking over, but it’s time to become human again. It’s time to find a little balance.

Balance between:

  • Being “liked” on Facebook and liked by your neighbors.
  • Reading on a Kindle and the feel of reading a real book.
  • Status updates and catching up with friends over a cup of coffee.
  • Interacting with each other face-to-face and via FaceTime, text, and social media.

Because balance is key to life, whether you’re talking about sleep, food, exercise, play, or technology.

So, stop sleeping with your phone.

Like many of you, I’ve always dragged my phone to bed with me at night. Lying in bed, I’d watch some last minute videos before falling asleep, maybe check out Twitter here and there, or check a couple metrics. Then, morning comes around and I awake to emails.

Surprise, surprise, it was in the bedroom that I realized that technology was having a negative impact on my life. Ultimately, it was disconnecting me from what is most important.

Yet, I will always be in a continual love affair with technology and apps; however, by creating healthy habits, I can establish the balance that is critical for me to stay sane.

. . . Which is why I decided to stop sleeping with my phone!

When change needs to happen, you have to start somewhere. Deciding to stop sleeping with my phone was pivotal. It’s a habit that’s serving me by allowing my mind to rest and my body to wake and start the day by just “being.” An abbreviated exercise in meditation is how I chose to view it. Plus, my educated mind knows that “being” present every given moment of the day is essential to longevity and success.

So, I want to share something with you that will open your eyes and hopefully help you connect to life, too. A few weeks ago, I came across a poem by Marshall Davis Jones that put things into perspective. For me, it summed up a lot of what I had been feeling for quite some time, but amplified with Marshall’s artistic touch. His poem paints a saddening, but realistic picture of technology that will figuratively slap you in the face.

Listen to Marshall Davis Jones poetically address our digital crack addiction.

Unless you’re 90-years old, or a newborn (and even then you’re still not counted out), we’re all addicted to digital crack. So, I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do and find the meaning of it for yourself in your own life. And as always, if you like this blog, please share it!

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